Genes, cardiovascular health each factor into dementia risk

July 20, 2020

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, USA -- Genes and cardiovascular health each contribute in an additive way to a person's risk of dementia, U.S. researchers including Sudha Seshadri, MD, and Claudia Satizabal, PhD, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) reported July 20 in the journal Neurology.

The study was conducted in 1,211 participants in the Framingham Heart Study and involved collaborators from Boston University.

Participants with a high genetic risk score based on common genetic variants, including having an allele called apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4, were at a 2.6-fold higher risk of developing dementia than subjects who had a low risk score and did not carry the APOE ε4 allele.

Having favorable cardiovascular health, as defined by an index of the American Heart Association, was associated with a 0.45-fold lower risk of dementia compared to having unfavorable cardiovascular health, the study also showed.

"The connection between heart health and brain health becomes clearer with each finding," Dr. Seshadri, senior investigator in the Framingham Heart Study, said. She is professor of neurology in the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio and founding director of the university's Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

"We hope that the results of this study will send the public a message, and that message is to exercise, reduce stress and eat a healthy diet," Dr. Seshadri said. "Then, regardless of your genes, you have the potential to lower your risk of dementia."

"It is imperative to start today," Dr. Satizabal, assistant professor of population health sciences and Biggs Institute investigator, said. "It seems, from our findings, that having favorable cardiovascular health mitigates the risk of dementia in persons with high genetic risk."
-end-
Funding for the UT Health San Antonio investigators is from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Cardiovascular health, genetic risk, and risk of dementia in the Framingham Heart Study

Gina M. Peloso, PhD; Alexa S. Beiser, PhD; Claudia L. Satizabal, PhD; Vanessa Xanthakis, PhD; Ramachandran S. Vasan, MD; Matthew P. Pase, PhD; Anita L. Destefano, PhD; and Sudha Seshadri, MD

First published: July 20, 2020, Neurology

https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010306

The Long School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is named for Texas philanthropists Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long. The school is the largest educator of physicians in South Texas, many of whom remain in San Antonio and the region to practice medicine. The school teaches more than 900 students and trains 800 residents each year. As a beacon of multicultural sensitivity, the school annually exceeds the national medical school average of Hispanic students enrolled. The school's clinical practice is the largest multidisciplinary medical group in South Texas with 850 physicians in more than 100 specialties. The school has a highly productive research enterprise where world leaders in Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, cancer, aging, heart disease, kidney disease and many other fields are translating molecular discoveries into new therapies. The Long School of Medicine is home to a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center known for prolific clinical trials and drug development programs, as well as a world-renowned center for aging and related diseases.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, also referred to as UT Health San Antonio, is one of the country's leading health sciences universities and is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. With missions of teaching, research, patient care and community engagement, its schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have graduated more than 37,000 alumni who are leading change, advancing their fields, and renewing hope for patients and their families throughout South Texas and the world. To learn about the many ways "We make lives better®," visit http://www.uthscsa.edu.

Stay connected with UT Health San Antonio on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Related Dementia Articles from Brightsurf:

The danger of Z-drugs for dementia patients
Strong sleeping pills known as 'Z-drugs' are linked with an increased risk of falls, fractures and stroke among people with dementia, according to new research.

The long road to dementia
Alzheimer's disease develops over decades. It begins with a fatal chain reaction in which masses of misfolded beta-amyloid proteins are produced that in the end literally flood the brain.

Why people with dementia go missing
People with dementia are more likely to go missing in areas where road networks are dense, complicated and disordered - according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

PTSD may double risk of dementia
People who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are up to twice as likely to develop dementia later in life, according to a new study by UCL researchers, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Dementia education
School-based dementia education could deliver much needed empathy and understanding for older generations as new research from the University of South Australia shows it can significantly improve dementia knowledge and awareness among younger generations.

Building dementia friendly churches
A project to help church communities become more 'dementia friendly' has had a significant impact across the country.

A "feeling" for dementia?
A research team led by the DZNE concludes that personal perception can be an important indicator for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

New biomarker for dementia diagnosis
Medical researchers in the UK and Australia have identified a new marker which could support the search for novel preventative and therapeutic treatments for dementia.

Digital solutions for dementia care
Telehealth delivery of dementia care in the home can be as effective as face-to-face home visit services if carers and recipients take advantage of the technologies available, Australian researchers say.

Despite a marked reduction in the prevalence of dementia, the number of people with dementia is set to double by 2050 according to new Alzheimer Europe report
Today, at a European Parliament lunch debate, Alzheimer Europe launched a new report presenting the findings of its collaborative analysis of recent prevalence studies and setting out updated prevalence rates for dementia in Europe.

Read More: Dementia News and Dementia Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.